Sowing Sweet Peas in Autumn

lilac-sweet-peaOctober is a great month to sow Sweet Peas.

In fact if you sow them in October, November or December you will have much better plants and earlier flowers next year. They are easy to grow and super productive… for masses of scented flowers for cutting you can’t beat Sweet Peas! in-the-pink-collage-700

Autumn sowing Sweet Peas.

I’ve grown a lot of Sweet Peas and this is what works best for me:

  1. Sow two seeds per cell/root trainer and keep them in a cold frame, polytunnel or unheated greenhouse. Mice love Sweet Pea Seeds so it’s best to keep them protected from the hungry little critters until they have all germinated.
  2. Grow on in the cell/root trainer until your seedlings are well established then pot them on. I recommend potting two well established seedlings into a tall 1L pot because they have a long tap root.
  3. Sweet Peas are quite hardy so they easily survive throughout winter without any special attention.They will grow roots first and then when the days lengthen and the temperature rises a little you’ll notice that the stems and leaves are growing quickly. Pinch out the tips to encourage production of site shoots and allow them to grow on.
  4. In March plant each pair outside together at the base of a tall hazel or bamboo cane and tie them in carefully. Take care to keep the rootball intact so as not to disturb the roots and check the plants growth.

Please note that Sweet Peas grow up to 1.8m – 2.10 metres /  6 – 7 feet tall so it’s important to make sure that your supporting canes are long enough!


3 reasons to grow Sweet Peas in Autumn

  1. Stronger plants with a good root system
  2. Healthier plants with better disease resistance
  3. Masses of flowers for cuttingjust-peachy-collage-700

New Sweet Peas

I’ve introduced some lovely varieties for you into my Sweet Pea Shop this month. I’ve selected the best Sweet Peas based on scent, vigour, reliability and flower production. Many of them have the RHS Award of Garden Merit and they are suitable for exhibiting and winning gold medals at flower shows too. These named varieties are available in single colours so if you have a particular theme in mind then this is the way to go.

To save you time and money and to make things super easy for you Sweet Peas are also available in collections. The hard work has been done… I’ve picked blooms that perfectly compliment each other. All you need to do is sow and grow to be sure of a super-duper display in your garden and to have plenty of flowers for cutting. This could be a great option for you if you are planning to grow your own flowers for a special event next year such as a wedding or an anniversary party. Enlist the help of a couple of friends and grow a collection each then you’ll have plenty of blooms for months on end.



I’m running a competition this month so you can win your favourite Sweet Peas.
There are five prizes. The winner can choose one Sweet Pea Collection (5 or 6 packets of seeds) from the Seed Collection Shop:
just-peachy-500   sweet-pea-collection-all-white-500   in-the-pink   sweet-pea-blue-ocean-500

The runners up will receive one packet of the variety they prefer or one mixed packet all available in the Sweet Pea Shop

To enter all you need to do is:

  1. Follow this blog. If you are already following… Thanks very much!
  2. Leave a comment below stating why you’d like to win and which Sweet Pea Collection or Variety you’d prefer.

This competition is open to UK residents only.
The Closing Date is Monday 31st October and the winners will be informed on Tuesday 1st November 2016.

Love GillianAre you growing Sweet Peas this autumn? 
If you’d like more information about How to Grow Sweet Peas have a look at Resources.

Happy Gardening!   Gillian

27 thoughts on “Sowing Sweet Peas in Autumn

  1. Lovely article on sweet peas and you’ve just reminded me to get some planted.

  2. Gracias Gillian por este post tan interesante. Yo no sabía que se podían plantar los Guisantes de olor ahora. Ya tengo comprado un paquete de semillas. Muchas gracias por toda la información sobre como cultivar los Guisantes de olor. Saludos de Margarita.

    1. Gillian Thanks for this interesting post. I did not know you could plant sweet peas now. I have already bought a packet of seeds. Thank you very much for all the information on how to grow sweet peas. Greetings from Margarita.

      Thanks Margarita. Good luck with growing your Sweet Peas.

  3. All the collections are so beautiful and ‘Just Peachy’ seems unusual but ‘Blue Ocean’ sweet peas would look great on my kitchen table!

  4. A great article.I went to a talk recently and the speaker said that the second week in October is the best time to sow sweet peas. I have never tried it so maybe this year I will.

    1. Everyone has their own ideas about the very best time. I think a lot depends where you live and what sort of conditions your garden has. Which collection/variety would you like if you win?

  5. What a lovely idea. I wish I had more space for Sweet peas. I have tried growing them amongst other things but that doesn’t really work. I have space for one packet so if I win I would like Anniversary. Many thanks!

    1. They really like a nice big space all to themselves and quite a bit of sun. Sweet Peas can be grown very successfully in a large pot with a tall wigwam of canes if you have no space in the borders Annette. Thanks for entering.

      1. I do have one space that I grow my sweet peas in very successfully, though I am worried about growing them in the same space every year as they are peas after all and should probably be ‘rotated’ with other things? A very large pot could be a solution, but they are so expensive aren’t they.

      2. The very best terracotta or lovely handmade glazed pots can be pricey. Huge plastic pots are available for just a few pounds though. Position them in a gap in a border to disguise the pot. All you see is the Sweet Peas and surrounding plants. I do think it’s worth treating yourself to one or two beautiful large pots for your patio though. Anything in full view needs to be completely gorgeous I think!

  6. My favourite flower of them all, sweet peas are a sure sign of summer. I’d love to win the pink collection to make my garden shine.🌸

  7. Do you have any of the new very early flowering ones for growing in the greenhouse. I’d love to try those as it is too hot here by the time the usual ones grow.

    1. Indeed I do Christina. They are mixed colours and bred specifically for short days so they flower earlier. Definitely worth giving them a try I’d say! I’ve added you to the list.

  8. What a beautiful and informative post, Gillian, thank you. I should pop in to your online shop for sweet peas for next year, there’s nothing quite like them for colour and scent.

  9. Hello Gillian, your blog is wonderful !
    I didn’t know that october is the best month to sow Sweet pees, thank you for the information !
    Have a wonderful day,

  10. So gorgeous Gillian! I am growing the winter series this fall so hopefully I can get some blooms this winter/early spring – even a bunch would be lovely!

  11. It is not Summer without Sweet peas. I have mostly pastel colors in my garden in creme, very light yellow, pinks and violets. I have reread this post several times because I thought for sure that I had to have a frostfree glasshouse or frostfree coldframe to sow Sweet peas in The Autumn. Looking forward to their beauty and …. not least the sweet fragrance 💕🎀💕

    1. Sweet Peas are Hardy Annuals. Once they have germinated they can tolerate cold temperatures. In the wild they would set seed and survive outside all winter so we can sow them now and in our mild UK climate they will be absolutely fine. I think you may have much harsher winters than us in which case the protection of a greenhouse or coldframe is necessary. I am very guilty of writing from my own point of view… so sorry to have misled you Annette!

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